Students get $4.5M payout for enduring anti-Semetic bullying By Jennifer Bain and Josh Saul July 10, 2015 | 1:47am Modal Trigger Bullied students Taylor Eccleston (left) and Olivia Cohen (headband) leave court Thursday. Photo: Matthew McDermott A federal judge approved a $4.5 million settlement Thursday for five students who suffered anti-Semitic abuse at upstate schools. The students and their families had sued the Pine Bush school district in 2012, accusing administrators of turning a blind eye to swastika graffiti, Holocaust jokes and violent attacks against Jewish students at elementary, middle and high schools. “My son was told you’re nothing more than ashes. He was slapped on the school bus by a girl who called him a dirty Jew,” said David Cohen. “My daughter had dirt thrown at her and money shoved in her mouth.” The White Plains judge’s approval comes after the district settled the suit last month for the sum. Pine Bush may have to raise taxes to pay it off, local reports say. The district serves parts of Orange, Sullivan Ulster and counties. Officials also agreed to reforms, such as mandatory classes to “recognize and report anti-Semitic graffiti, name-calling . . . and other forms of anti-Semitic harassment.” “It’s a very significant settlement and sweeping reform, and we hope this will be a new day in Pine Bush,” said a school-district lawyer.